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Old Paramus Reformed Church               660 East Glen Avenue                   Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Old Paramus Reformed Church 660 East Glen Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Old Paramus Reformed Church

660 East Glen Avenue

Ridgewood, NJ  07450

(201) 444-5933

http://www.oldparamus.org/

http://oldparamus.org/home

https://www.revolutionarywarnewjersey.com/new_jersey_revolutionary_war_sites/towns/ridgewood_nj_revolutionary_war_sites.htm

Open: Please check the website for full hours

 

During the Christmas holiday season I was so busy that I was not able to visit my local church. So when I was able to celebrate the Epiphany,  I visited the Old Dutch Reformed Church in Ridgewood, NJ. The Church is one of the oldest in both Bergen County, NJ and the State of New Jersey. It is especially beautiful during the holidays.

 

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The entrance to the Old Paramus Reformed Church

It really was a nice service with music, the choir singing Christmas hymns and a bell service. It reminded me of my years at the Dutch Reformed Church in Woodstock, NY when I celebrated Christmas there. The whole church was decorated in holly and garland with Christmas trees in the corners and white candles lit in the corner.

 

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The Inside of the Old Paramus Reformed Church for the holidays

What I liked after the service was over was that everyone walked up to me to greet me. I was one of the younger people in the church and I guess that they were happy to see some young blood.

The services there are very nice and I thought the church with its wooden benches and older architecture made the service even more special. It was a combination of the decoration, the music, the songs and the friendliness of the congregation that made the last day of the 12 Days of Christmas special for me.

I had also been to the church a few years prior for a private cemetery walk through the back part of the church looking at the old tombstones, The church is the burial place of many of Bergen County’s original settlers so the headstones are very old. Some of the tombstones were made of sandstone and the other of shale. Many had not survived the weather after all these years.

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The cemetery at the Old Paramus Reformed Church is an interesting place

The interesting part of the pre-Halloween walk was that the tour guide from the Ridgewood Historical Society told us the reason the cemetery was shaped the way it was today. The cemetery was placed around the original church and when the new church was built in 1800, the newer part of the cemetery was created. It is interesting to walk amongst the graves and look at all the names of the original families of Bergen County that included the Harings, Zabriske’s, Terhune’s, Bauvelt’s, Van Ripper’s and Demarest’s.

If you get a chance to tour the church or the grounds you will know the reason why this is such a special church. Maybe it was the church’s rich history in Bergen County.

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The History of the Old Paramus Reformed Church of Ridgewood, NJ:

The Old Paramus Reformed Church has a rich past. The congregation was formed in the year 1725. During the American Revolution, the Paramus Church was the site of  a Continental Army military post for four years during which clashes between American and British forces tool place. It was also in the original church building that  General George Washington held a session of the court-martial of General Charles Lee who disobeyed order at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778.  Washington had his headquarters here at the church a total of ten times during various days from 1778-1780.

Other noted Revolutionary War figures such as Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette, Anthony Wayne, Richard Henry Lee and Aaron Burr also were here from time to time during the war. From early colonial times, slaves were members of the church congregation, the upper galleries on both sides being designed for their use during services.

The present church building was built in 1800. An interesting feature is that the pews are numbered. The members of earlier days rented them on an annual basis. The most expensive were numbers 50-57 at $52.00 per year while the least expensive were numbers 38-100 at $4.00 per year> Needless to say, the less expensive pews are at the rear of the sanctuary.

On each side of the pulpit, there are three pews placed at right angles to the rest of the pews in the church. These were reserved for the Elders and Deacons (on the left and right respectively). These persons collectively are known as the Consistory, which is the governing board of the church. It was their duty to sit in these pews each Sabbath with their Bibles and copies of the day’s sermons to check on the “Domine” as to his conduct of the service as well as sticking to his sermon!

That tradition (as to seating) was kept alive for many years in Old Paramus by members of the Consistory who sat in the first pew facing the pulpit each Sunday. The only similar practice in use today is that the Elders serving Communion sit in the first rows on either side of the center aisle.

The decorated organ pipes in the rear of the chancel (choir loft) behind the pulpit date back to 1892. In that year, they were installed when the church received the gift of a new organ from a congregation member.

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The inside of the Old Paramus Reformed Church

At the top of the arch the pulpit, there is a Dove of Peace. The dove is made of wood and is hand-carved. The exact date of origin of the dove is unknown. One authority claims that, “The bird is an eagle and was a donation by Dr. Garrett D. Banta in 1800.” Records from the Consistory minutes read: 1874, August 3rd: Resolved that the Consistory thankfully recognize the kindness of Mrs. Catherine Wessella for repairing and regilding the Dove, which has been a part of the decoration of the old church.

There are three flags on the pulpit-the American flag, the Christian flag and the flag of The Netherlands, the last representing our Dutch heritage. In a similar vein, for many years the Dutch flag was flown under the American flag on the staff in front of the church. Today only the American flag is flown on the flag pole.

There are several plaques on the inside walls of the church. Some honor the ministers and others honor the various Consistories since 1725. Another just inside the front door notes that this church has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In display cases you will find various bits of memorabilia concerning our history.

When attending Old Paramus Reformed Church, you will have come to a warm and comfortable historic church to your whole being.

On the church campus, you will find modern Educational Building which houses the church offices and facilities need for Christian nurture. Another building is the one-room church like schoolhouse. This building houses the Ridgewood Historical and Preservation Society and is known as The Schoolhouse Museum. It was built in 1872 and was used as a school until 1905. It contains many items of historical note to this area. Make it a point to visit this museum during visiting hours. You should find it to be a very interesting and reward visit.

So what kind of church is Old Paramus Reformed Church? It is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, the oldest Protestant denomination with a continuous ministry in America. The first church was established in New York City, then known as New Amsterdam in 1628. The Collegiate Churches presently represent the origins of that original Congregational. The best known is Marble Collegiate Church, which is where Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was the minister for fifty-two years. The Reformed Church in America (RCA) is an historic denomination coming out of the Reformation when the Church was “re-formed” and re-organized according to the teachings of the Word of God, the Bible. The Reformed Church of is Biblical in doctrine, semi-liturgical in worship. Presbyterian in government and evangelical in practice.

This year, Old Paramus Reformed Church celebrates 295 years of God’s Loving Spirit. Come join us next Sunday at 10:00am. We would be most happy to see you and you will surely feel rewarded for the experience.

(Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Church’s history and I give them full credit for the information).

 

 

The Greater Cape May Historical Society 6531/2 Washington Street Cape May, NJ 08204

The Greater Cape May Historical Society 6531/2 Washington Street Cape May, NJ 08204

The Greater Cape May Historical Society

6531/2 Washington Street

Cape May, NJ  08204

(609) 884-9100

http://www.capemayhistory.org/

http://www.capemayhistory.org/about-us.html

Open: Colonial House Museum hours:

Wednesday-Saturday, 1:00pm-4:00pm June 15th-September 15th

Open during Victorian Weekend in October. Special exhibits at Halloween and Christmas.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46341-d286395-Reviews-The_Colonial_House-Cape_May_Cape_May_County_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

 

What an interesting visit I had to the Cape May Historical Society’s Memucan Hughes Colonial House. This tiny museum is only open between June 15th-September 15th and after that only for special events. It is an fascinating little home that was built somewhere between 1730 to 1760. The original house no one is too sure if it had been built for the original owner or had been there and added on to as the records for the age of the house are unclear.

The home consists of two small downstairs room filled with period furniture and decorations and there is an upstairs with three small rooms that is closed to the public. The front room Mr. Hughes used as a tavern that he kept open until almost the 1800’s. He had catered to a growing whaling industry that needed some form of entertainment in this quiet town that was isolated from the rest of the state.

The front of the house is decorated as tavern to greet guests. There were tables filled with games and items that would have catered to the trade but still you knew you were in someone’s home. There are vintage card tables, board games and some household items.

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The Cape May Historical Society

The back room is a closed off kitchen with a fireplace and spinning wheels and wash tubs, all the things to run a household. There were also children’s toys, kitchen and garden gadgets and family items to personalize the house. The Hughes family lived in the house until the Victorian age and then they built the house on the front of the property and moved the smaller house to the back of the grounds. The house had been moved three times since its original location on the main road a few blocks away.

The tour itself is only about a half hour long and the guides do a nice job explaining the history of the house. On the gloomy day I visited, the museum was very busy with people visiting the house and with its connection to colonial history and the popularity of the musical, “Hamilton”, it is making it a popular destination when visiting Cape May.

 

History of the Museum:

The mission of the Greater Cape May Historical Society is to collect, preserve, document, interpret and share the history of Greater Cape May and to enhance the appreciation of that history through the Society’s historic site, The Colonial House Museum, collections, research, exhibitions, educational programs and publications.

All are invited to visit the Colonial House Museum, a 1700’s era house. The house was moved to its present site next to City Hall when the Hughes Family built the grand Victorian that is now a Bed & Breakfast. Come visit us and see the House as it was with a Tavern Room and a Common Room when it was owned by Memucan Hughes. On display are period furnishings and other period household items.

The Society presents an annual exhibit dedicated to an unique chapter of Greater Cape May History along with special events for Halloween and Christmas.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Greater Cape May Historical Society’s pamphlet and I give them full credit for it. Please call the above number for more information and selected openings.

Hamilton-Van Wagoner House Museum  971 Valley Road  Clifton, NJ 07013

Hamilton-Van Wagoner House Museum 971 Valley Road Clifton, NJ 07013

Hamilton-Van Wagoner House Museum

971 Valley Road

Clifton, NJ  07013

(973) 744-5707

https://www.cliftonnj.org/256/Hamilton-House-Museum

Open: Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm/Monday & Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm

Fee: Suggested Donation $5.00

 

I visited the Hamilton House Museum this afternoon which is right down the road from Montclair State College and sits at the border of the Clifton-Montclair border. The interesting part of the house location is that it still sits the farm land of the Van Wagoner Family but the house was moved from its location to the current one because of the building of Route 46 in 1973.

When talking with curator, the house is going through a transition from the City of Clifton ownership to the County of Passaic Historical Society’s site. They are currently cataloging every piece in the house and putting it online. They want to view the collection to see what they can work with within the home.

Each room represents a different time in the history of the house. There is a living room from the Victorian age, the kitchen is from the late 1700’s to the early 1800’s and the dining room is from the mid-1800’s. These rooms are furnished to represent a certain time in the house.

There will be many revisions in the future for the house so there are some changes on the way. The upstairs is currently being used for storage and there will be revision there as well. I got a quick tour of the rooms with the curator and he said there will be more changes in the future as they catalog each piece. The grounds are currently being replanted.

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The Hamilton House Museum sits at the Clifton and Montclair border

The house is one of the last examples of early 19th century stone houses in Passaic County. The house was built in 1817 by John and Ann Vreeland and then passed to the Van Wagoner family. It changed hands a few times until 1856 when the Hamilton Family bought the house (no relationship to Alexander Hamilton). The house remained in the Hamilton Family until 1972 when the last living relative died and no one in the family wanted possession of the house (Tour Guide & Wiki). That’s when the City of Clifton bought the house from the family of its historic value. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 13th, 1982 (Wiki).

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The outside grounds of The Hamilton House Museum

History of the Hamilton House:

(taken from the City of Clifton website)

This 18th Century Dutch gambrel-roofed homestead was once the home of the Van Wagoner and Hamilton families. This basic of the house does not greatly differ from its Dutch antecedents.

The sturdy one and one half story cut sandstone structure, flanked by a grainery, spring-house and gardens reflects almost two hundred years of American history. It brings back memories of an uncluttered horizon with farms, orchards, fresh brooks, forest full of game and filled with scent of wildflowers.

Hamilton House & the Clifton Community:

Although the City of Clifton was incorporated in 1917, a community had existed since 1679. Prior to 1917, the area was known as Acquackanonk Township and included parts of : Little Falls, Passaic, Paterson and West Paterson.

The Indian Chief Captahem deeded 11,000 acres to the early Dutch settlers on the shores of the Passaic River. Predominately rural, this sparsely populated village thrived and grew.

The farmhouse was presented to the City of Clifton by the developers of the late Henry Hamilton. The Hamilton family had bought the 96 acre property in 1856 and for over 100 years until the death of Mr. Hamilton in 1970, it had been the family home.

Current Location and Future Plans:

The house was moved to its present location in Surgent Park in 1973. Infinite plans have been taken with examination and documentation of the building’s structural elements. Extensive research has been conducted including the records and treasured memories of Miss Caroline Hamilton as well as: Artifacts, Deeds, Manuscripts, Maps, Photographs and Wills.

Scheduling Tours:

The museum is opened for tours on Sunday from 2:00pm-4:00pm (except on holidays). The house is going through a transition right now with the change over.

 

 

Neue Galerie New York  1048 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10028

Neue Galerie New York 1048 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10028

Neue Galerie New York

1048 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY  10028

(212) 628-6200

neuegalerie.org

@neugalerieny

Open: Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm/Monday 11:00am-6:00pm/ Tuesday and Wednesday Closed/Thursday-Saturday 11:00am-6:00pm

Café and Shops have various hours. Please check the website for these.

Fee: General $22.00/Seniors (65 and Older) $16.00/Students and Educators $12.00/Children under 12 are not admitted and Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. The museum is open on First Fridays from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Please visit the website for more information.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d258699-Reviews-Neue_Galerie-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I visited the Neue Galerie for the first time after passing the building on the way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This interesting little gallery space has some interesting pieces to see and many decorative objects in the cases.

The gallery space for special exhibitions on the third floor was closed when I visited and being an educator, I got a half price discount off the educator rate was a nice deal.

It was a thrill to finally see the famous Gustav Klimt painting of the “Woman in Gold” that had been such a controversial piece during the Nazi occupation in Germany. It’s beautiful detail work was very innovative then. After all the fighting over the painting it is nice to see that the family sold it to the museum to share it with the world. The gallery where the painting hangs has more works by Gustav Klimt and you can see the extent of his work along the walls of the gallery.

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The ‘Woman in Gold’

The side galleries are full of all sorts of objects of art for the home such as chairs, silverware, dishware, clocks and decorative objects. There was a lot of items that still are contemporary in their fashion. The back gallery on the second floor is full of paintings by various German artists.

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The Decorative Objects Gallery

The whole museum you can see in about an hour when the special galleries are closed. There is also Cafe Sabarsky on the main floor, a Viennese cafe the serves German food like sausages, salads and pastries. The restaurant is a little over-priced for what it is.

 

History of the Neue Galerie New York:

Neue Galerie New York is a museum devoted to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design. Located in a landmark mansion built in 1914 by the architectural firm of Carrere & Hastings, the museum offers a diverse program of exhibitions, lectures, films, concerts and other events. The second floor galleries are dedicated to a rotating selection of fine and decorative art from Vienna circa 1900, including work by fine artists Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka and decorative artists Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and Adolf Loos. The third-floor galleries present German fine and decorative art of early twentieth century, including work by Max Beckmann, Ernest Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee and Marcel Breuer. The third floor is also the site for special exhibitions that focus on key individuals and movements, articulating a more complete vision of twentieth-century German and Austrian art (Neue Galerie New York History).

The Gustav Klimt Gallery

Neue Gallery III

 

Neue Galerie New York was conceived by two men who enjoyed a close friendship over a period of nearly thirty years: art dealer and museum exhibition organizer Sege Sabarsky and businessman, philanthropist and art collector Ronald S. Lauder. Sabarsky and Lauder shared a passionate commitment to Modern German and Austrian art and dreamed of opening a museum to showcase the finest examples of this work. After Sabarsky died in 1996, Lauder carried on the vision of creating Neue Galerie New York as a tribute to his friend (Neue Galerie New York History).

The German art collection represents various movements of the early twentieth century: the Blaue Reiter and its circle (Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, August Macke, Franz Marc, Gabriele Munter) the Brucke (Erich Heckel, Ernest Ludwig Kirchner, Hermann Max Pechstein, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff), the Bauhaus (Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, Laszio Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer), the Neue Schlichkeit (Otto Dix, George Grosz, Christian Schad) as well as applied arts from the German Werkbund (Peter Behrens) and the Bauhaus (Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Wilheim Wagenfeld) (Neue Galerie New York History).

Cafe Sabarsky located in a spectacular wood-paneled room on the ground floor has become a favorite spot for New Yorkers. Operated by acclaimed chef Kurt Gutenbrunner, it evokes the great fin-de-siecle cafes of Vienna. The Book Store fills the former library of the mansion and specializes in publications on fine art and architecture from Germany and Austria. The Design Store features objects based on original works by Marianne Brandt, Josef Hoffman, Adolf Loos and other major designers of the era (Neue Galerie New York).